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"Glory to the Sound" from From Paris With Love
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From Paris With Love
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The Skatalites, From Paris With Love, (World Village) The Founders of Ska Take Roots Worldwide:

The Skatalites Sustain the Original Rhythm of a Nation with New CD and Tour

When the Jamaican Military Band traveled to New Foundland in 1961, three years prior to the formation of The Skatalites, Lester Sterling was a member of the band. He was surprised to find the audience requesting Island music. In spite of this eye opening experience, for years, even the best Kingston producers primarily targeted their sounds to Jamaican dancehalls, with little thought paid to an international audience.

When The Skatalites played St. Petersburg, Russia in 2001, the band was surprised by the international response. One pair of Russian musicians traveled over 8000 miles by train from Vladavirstock, playing their own brand of Russian acoustic reggae along the way to help pay their travel expenses. Latin American fans have been known to journey all the way to Europe to catch a glimpse of the founders of ska, who rarely play South America, which is having a ska renaissance of their own. Japan is ska mad too, where tribute band The Skaflames have a solid following and have shared the stage with the ska forefathers. On a recent Skatalites tour in Japan, one young Japanese woman arrived with sax in hand, songs memorized, ready to play along.

By the end of this year’s tour, the Skatalites will have performed on every continent. Celebrating international unity, World Village Records (Harmonia Mundi) releases From Paris With Love on May 13, 2003. The album was recorded in Paris and named after the skaliciously adapted film theme, “From Russia with Love.”

Nearly four decades after the Skatalites formation, From Paris With Love features five original members. Drum and bass team Lloyd Knibb and Lloyd Brevett pre-dates the Skatalites, having played together for 57 years. Saxophonist Lester Sterling, trumpeter Johnny ‘Dizzy’ Moore and soulful vocalist Doreen Schaeffer carry on the never-ending rhythm they pioneered. Cedric ’Im Brooks, musical arranger and bandleader for Count Ossie and diverse projects including the consummate Light of Sabba, adds his sax to the mix.

Rounding out the roster are tenured Skatalites like jazzman Will Clark and Devon James, a fellow Jamaican who played the North Coast hotel scene with many of the original members. Ken Stewart came to the group ‘by accident’ in the mid-80’s when the Skatalites started to trickle to the States. Before they regrouped, Lloyd Knibb started playing drums with Stewart in a local reggae band, and soon after they were both Skatalites opening for the Bunny Wailer Liberation tour.

“Of all the Skatalites’ albums since the re-grouping, this one is closest to the raw-sounding Studio One stuff,” said Ken Stewart. “It’s basically a live recording. We arrived in Paris on Christmas Day and did 15 tracks in 16 hours. In the studio, we turned off all the processors and we didn’t do any overdubs. It was just Knibb and Sterling saying, ‘Do this…Tweak that...’ Those guys have incredible ears.”